Event highlights improvements made to The Line

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (Commissioner) David Allen attended an event at The Line on Thursday 23 May to promote the improvements made to make the area feel safer. The work has been made possible after a successful bid to the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund Round Five by the Office of the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner.

 

The Safer Streets Fund Round Five aims to reduce anti-social behaviour (ASB) and provide safer and more welcoming communities. The Line was highlighted as an ASB and Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) hotspot following consultation with women between 16–20-year old’s on where they felt unsafe in their local communities and why. The feedback highlighted that the path was overgrown with low visibility, littered and generally uninviting, especially at night.

A plan was put into action with vegetation being cut back to increase visibility and reduce any hiding spots for potential offenders, community litter picks were conducted, and larger fly-tipping issues were dealt with. Local schools created signage and QR codes have been placed to encourage reporting of suspicious behaviour or general issues to the Police and Council. Graffiti has been cleaned up and a professional muralist was hired to work with young people in the area to create art that spans the length of The Line to create the illusion of a country walk in an urban area.

 

Partners including the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Home Office, Cumbria Constabulary and Cumberland Council attended to highlight the positive partnership work to deliver the project. Westfield Junior School Choir sang at the event with parents and members of the community attended, and stalls were open to provide information and advice on different crime types. Restorative Hope workers from Remedy and The Well Communities were also in attendance to speak to residents about their role within the project, providing young people in the area with mediation, restorative justice, safeguarding and interventions to reduce ASB. The Morgan Sindall Group assisted with the clean-up element of the project and attended to provide information on a variety of apprenticeship and recruitment opportunities available to young residents.

Commissioner David Allen said: “This event provides residents with the opportunity to come together and reclaim a part of their community away from potential ASB and criminals.

 

“A lot of work has been undertaken by the Police, Cumberland Council and partners to ensure that The Line feels safer for everyone to use.

 

“Simple solutions such as cutting back the vegetation, restoring the paths and covering graffiti has made the area more welcoming and improved a feeling of safety in the area.

 

“The Safer Streets Funding is making a difference in our communities and I’m proud to be a part of a partnership that works to make our county safer.”

 

Inspector Pete Aiston from the Allerdale Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “Today’s event has allowed us to showcase the hard work that has been carried out to make The Line safer for everyone, but especially women and girls”.

 

“We have already received feedback from our communities on the difference cutting back foliage and clearing the area has made to make it a lighter more welcoming place”.

 

“We have reached our aim of reclaiming the space from those who used it to commit crime and anti-social behaviour, and transformed it into a space enjoyed by dog walkers, local sports clubs and the wider community. We want everyone, but especially women and girls, to reclaim the line and the work carried out has helped us to achieve that”

“Thank you to all those who have assisted us in transforming The Line for our communities.”

 

Colin Cox, Cumberland Council’s Director of Public Health, Communities and Localities, said: “Being able to feel safe as we move around our communities is vital, especially for women. So, it is wonderful to be part of important improvements to an area highlighted as feeling unsafe. Lots of straightforward changes really have made a huge difference.

“Today’s event spotlights how much partnership work has gone into achieving this – it’s only been by working together that we’ve been able to make this space so much better.

 

“I’d like to commend and congratulate everyone who has been involved – from the Police, Crime and Fire Commissioner to all the community groups, businesses and schools who have done their bit. I hope the outcome is many more people using the Line, feeling safe and happy to do so.”

 

If you wish to report to police you can do so online at Report a crime | Cumbria Police. You can also phone on 101. Always phone 999 in an emergency or if a crime is in progress.

 


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